Conclusion: Here's my rating of the Sony DSC-P71: (3 megapixel compact) The DSC-P71 is a camera which doesn't pretend to be anything more than a value for money three megapixel digital camera. That said it does bring features over and above what we'd expect at this price point (manual controls, unlimited MPEG mode, supplied rechargeable batteries etc.
Pros: Good balance colour, white balance works best under natural light, Good resolution, above the average three megapixel, New wider range of white balance options, Unlimited MPEG HQX recording (although silent movies only), Takes two standard AA batteries (and good battery life to boot), Selectable ISO sensitivities, Manual focus options (unusual at this price level), New multi-burst 16 continuous shooting mode, Good on-screen information (including exposure), Good "wide...
Cons: Some noise visible at ISO 100, Occasional "clipped reds" in sunlight (too saturated), Barrel distortion at wide angle, Program AE exposures crippled by minimum 1/30 sec exposure (must use twilight scene mode for slower exposures), Poor performing pre-programmed white balance settings, no manual white balance, No manual controls (although not really expected at this price level), Front edge positioned tripod mount
P-series line of digital cameras can be a bit confusing. They are
actually split into two groups: the single digit models (DSC-P2,
and the double digit models (DSC-P31,
Despite the higher model numbers, the double digit models are actually
inferior to the single digit models. You're probably more confused
now than before you started reading this.
Pros: Very good photos in most situations, Small, easy to pocket camera; well built., Uses just 2 AA batteries, and still lasts for 2 hours, Movie mode lets you record until Memory Stick is full, AF illuminator, a rarity on most lower cost cameras, Good amount of controls for low cost camera, Robust operation
Cons: No sound or optical zoom in movie mode, Not a fan of Memory Stick format (personal bias), Ultra slow battery charger; but at least they included one!
Summary: Sony's Cyber-shot P-71 camera concentrates on the essentials of good picture-taking: sharp focus and accurate exposure. Technologies like multi-point auto focus, multi-pattern and pre-flash exposure metering, and scene modes work transparently to give amateur photographers the head start they need. For greater exposure accuracy, Sony's pre-flash exposure metering calculates exposure with light from the flash itself.